Your Last-Minute CVS Valentine’s Gift Guide


It’s February 14. You and your partner have spoken out against the crude commercialization of Valentine’s Day for the past two weeks. “It’s a stupid party,” you say. “Just a Hallmark invention.”

What is true. But then you start scrolling through social media, and it’s just a blur of red and pink. Post after post, you see individuals expressing their love in a very public way. They look happy and romantic. They look in love!

Suddenly, all your V-Day critics are flying out the window. You can be romantic! You can do great things! Even if it means playing into the game of manipulative marketing campaigns and emotional commodification, you realize you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day after all.

The problem is, you waited too long. Every florist probably drinks whiskey after filling the day’s many orders. Finding a reservation at a romantic restaurant? Good luck. Only an act of God or committing an act of unholy debasement will get you in at this late hour.

Your solution? SVC.

Granted, there are few things less romantic than a drugstore lit by fluorescent carpet that often has a security guard posted at the entrance, but at this point it’s the best option you have. Year after year, CVS stocks questionable quality Valentine’s Day gifts that seem tailor-made for last-minute romantics.

Here are the best freebies I found on a recent trip to North Park CVS.

Lindt Gourmet Truffles

Show someone you care with a box of Lindt Gourmet truffles from CVS.

(Ryan Bradford)

If you go for the box of chocolates, especially at the last minute, you better make it the most expensive box of chocolates. It’s not meant to promote materialism, but rather to help you get over the bar. In the end, no one ever craves chocolate in heart-shaped boxes because it’s mostly trash, with each surprise more disappointing than the last. When you get big – and at 24:49 Lindt is the biggest CVS to offer – at least you know it’s going to be edible.

Large gudgeon muffin

Three teddy bears holding hearts

Exactly what your loved one has always wanted, a Valentine’s Day stuffed animal.

(Ryan Bradford)

We all know these are going to end up at Goodwill before the 4th of July, but what heartless soul can say no to a giant stuffed animal? It doesn’t matter if they look like animals that have been submerged in the East River for a month, they hold hearts! Cute! I also love these things because when you look into their dead, soulless eyes, it makes you forget the circumstances that led you to CVS on Valentine’s Day in the first place.

Russel Stover Assorted Chocolates in a Glitter Box

A glitter box of Valentine's Day chocolates

Does this box of glittery chocolates make you sad?

(Ryan Bradford)

So you are looking for a box of chocolates that reminds you of the sad dress of a cabaret dancer? Well, kid, you’re in luck. Kudos to Russel Stover for turning the memory of that night you found yourself at a ramshackle burlesque show on the Vegas Strip into a Valentine’s Day treat.

Bear “Be mine”

A brown teddy bear holding a Be Mine heart

Are you a genius or super lazy if you buy a Be Mine Bear?

(Ryan Bradford)

This “Be Mine” bear is what I would call a “classic” VDay gift. And by that I mean it’s the cheapest, dumbest, most thoughtless expression of love, making it a brilliant commentary on the whole concept of Valentine’s Day, and your partner will have to recognize your critical genius. Hats off, Romantic Einstein!

Chicken Nugget Valentine’s Day

A box of chicken nugget-themed Valentine's Day cards

The Elite CVS Find: The Valentines Chicken Nugget

(Ryan Bradford)

Do you remember Valentine’s Day in elementary school and middle school, when you saved the best Valentine’s Day for that special someone? Well, that’s it. My only hesitation in recommending them is that it will be very obvious that you are in love with the person they are targeting. There’s no way to play it cool giving a nugget message, so you might want to have an alliance ready just in case.

Will you be my valentine card

A giant Valentine's Day card that says Bee Mine

Will an oversized card disguise the fact that you shopped at the last minute? Totally.

(Ryan Bradford)

A scene from the pitch meeting at the card factory:

Writer: OK, so this will be a big card that says “Will you be my Valentine?” and there will be a picture of a bee.

Card exec: A bit overdone, no?

Writer: But understand: the map is, for example, really big.

Card executor: …

Author : …

Card executor: [Slow clap to standing ovation]

pet valentines

Valentine's Day Cards of a Cat and a Dog

Yes, dogs and cats also send Valentine’s Day cards.

(Ryan Bradford)

Tired: Give a pet valentine to your significant other.

Wired: Give a pet valentine to your work crush. Bonus points if it’s your first time interacting with them.

Card My nuts are yours

A card with two squirrels that reads my nuts are yours

Romantic? Where?

(Ryan Bradford)

I do not understand.

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